Pathogen discovery, diversity and evolution

Understanding how viruses evolve and spread

We're analysing the fundamental rules of virus ecology, how viruses jump between species, and how they spread through populations.

Our vision

We seek to understand the fundamental patterns and processes by which viruses evolve and spread through populations. 

Our work

We're characterising the virosphere by revealing the full biodiversity of viruses on earth. From this, we're determining the basic rules of virus ecology and evolution.

Much of our time is also being devoted to using ‘meta-transcriptomic’ technology to reveal the microbiological cause of specific human and animal diseases, such as tick-borne disease in humans.

What impact will this research have?

Ultimately, our work enables us to determine which viruses and other pathogens are responsible for specific diseases and how best to control them.

Featured research projects

  1. Characterising the virosphere.
  2. Understanding virus ecology and evolution.
  3. Understanding how viruses jump species boundaries and emerge in new hosts, including humans.


Read more on viral evolution work in the Faculty of Science.

Research group leader

Professor Edward Holmes
Professor Edward Holmes
“I decided to join the Charles Perkins Centre because I wanted to be associated with excellence and I could see early on that the Centre would be a winner.”
View Edward Holmes' profile